Earned trust and respect cannot be rushed and you should wait for your horse to offer some signs of affection before returning the gesture. Study your horse’s body language and learn when he is relaxed and comfortable enough for you to get close.
Levinson tells us that horses are either receiving or giving affection, not both at the same time. Cuddling and purring Learn how your horse shows affection.
Our first reaction with a horse is often to touch their face as a sign of affection. Reversely, horses are fond of licking and kissing, which can make a human feel uncomfortable.
While grooming, speak in soft tones to your horse and let him get used to your voice. Avoid direct contact with his face, when possible, and be slow and meticulous, especially the first few times.
Home : Horsemanship Essays by Franklin Levinson : How do Horses Show Affection? If you get a chance to see them in the wild they are mutually grooming each other, scratching each other, leaning gently into each other, sharing breath with each other (a very intimate activity done by putting their noses together and sharing the air).
Mares and their foals are always nuzzling each other and the babies are always rubbing up against their moms. The low, soft ‘nickering’ sounds they make at each other are other ways they show affection.
Real, unconditional love is the best form of affection and the greatest gift we can bring to our horses. On the human end this is usually what occurs: We unconsciously reach into the animals face and want to pet and touch his muzzle (nose).
If I reached into someone’s face and petted their nose, it would be rude, thoughtless and disrespectful. They do not have arms and hands and do not touch each other in this manner and, additionally, what we are doing is uninvited.
We want to pet that soft nose and what we want takes all our attention, not the horse’s reaction to what we are doing. When we reach into a horse’s physical space, no matter what, we stop its affection coming back towards us.
So if the horse is trying to show us affection (which they really want to do) and we take it as an opportunity to input (touch or pet) them, we immediately stop their attempts at being affectionate towards us. Certainly you can put your arms around your horse and hug him, scratch him or reassuringly stroke him.
But wait and do it when invited by the horse’s demeanor and body language. But, rather feelings of acknowledgment and acceptance shared and demonstrated through body gestures, postures and mutual awareness (empathy).
We can choose to lead like Gandhi; lovingly, firmly and quietly. We could abandon leadership like Mussolini, with his loud, controlling, fear based dictatorship.
Loving touches are noticeable and stand out more than casual physical acknowledgment like hand shakes and pats on the back. You will have been mutually affectionate as giving and receiving are actually the same thing.
If you are able to establish a great amount of mutual trust with your horse, this will lead to more affection and a stronger bond. Being a great parent/leader is a wonderful way to show affection for your horse.
Being the great Mom or Dad for your horse means you are there for his feelings of safety and trust first and foremost. What kinder and more wonderful way to show affection than attention to another’s sense of well-being.
In the face of the most fearful and potentially dangerous horse, kindness is the major component in its rehabilitation (just as with an abused human). I guess I could sum this up by merely saying; if it feels like affection and you are not holding a carrot, it probably is.
When adopting a horse, we all hope that we’ll quickly be able to build a strong bond with him that’s based on friendship and mutual trust. Those who have lived with horses already know how intelligent they are, and how they are able to show empathy to other people and animals.
So, to figure out if your horse loves you, it’s important to pay attention to his body language. It’s difficult for humans to understand the full potential and diversity of body language.
That’s why a lot of animals can easily detect our mood changes, such as fear, joy or anger, without the need for words. Your body speaks and your horse will understand your love through your gestures and actions better than through your words.
So, we should pay attention to our body language when wanting to express our affection and improve our bond with our horses. If you take the time to watch his behavior, you’ll see that he adopts different movements and postures with his ears.
To know if your horse loves you, you have to learn how to observe and interpret the movements and positions of his ears. This means the animal is concentrating and is paying close attention to what the rider is communicating to him.
Flattened and backward: it’s important to be careful because this indicates that the horse may have sudden and unexpected reactions. Erect and forward: the horse is alert to its surroundings and can react to strange stimuli.
Like dogs, horses often put their tails between their legs when they’re scared or want to express submission to another individual. The New York Post reports that horses don’t exhibit particular emotional responses that may indicate they love one person over another.
Dogs, for example, will get a bout of playfulness when reunited with their humans; horses do no such thing. Based upon this, the study concluded that, while horses may find comfort in the presence of humans, viewing them to be “safe havens,” they don’t necessarily get personally attached to just one.
To add insult to injury, the study also found that a horse’s heart rate didn’t nearly increase as much when it came to being reunited with their trainers, either. The study additionally reinforces previous lines of thought that have concluded horses are more amiable towards humans that give them something they benefit from, such as food.
It’s hard to describe to non-horse people how much we love our horses. But here are seven ways to show your horse you love them so that they never forget.
Give your horse some special treats, like apples, carrots, and the occasional peppermint. Pick up a book or DVD to learn some basic equine massage techniques and give your horse a massage session once a month.
One great way to show your horse that you love him is to provide him with the best quality hay and feed that you can afford. Make an effort to spend some time with your horse out of the saddle.
You never know if your horse will love trail riding, agility, or groundwork until you give them a try. Finally, show your horse that you love him by looking out for his future.
If you lease him out, then carefully check into his workload and work type so that you are putting him in a positive situation. If you want an incredible bond and the opportunity to show some love to your equine friend than follow these five tips.
Find a quiet stall or barn area and set to work. You should check over his legs and the entire length of his neck, stomach, and hind for cuts, heat, and other abnormalities.
Being a good horse owner is all about keeping him healthy, happy, and feeling his best. After you go for a ride, and he’s cooled down, a few minutes of hand grazing is a pleasant ‘thank you’ to him.
Keep your horse’s mind entertained by challenging his trust in you. This could include a bomb proofing clinic, trail challenge, or even a ride on the beach.